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Zone 52 Festival


Zone 52 Festival

Held at Billing Aquadrome, Northampton from 9-11 June and run by NB’s Outdoor Events and Blackbush Promotions Northampton.

This is the first Zone 52 Festival to be held, the weather was mostly kind although very windy. A great selection of bands, from local unsigned bands to top tribute acts. It was unfortunate that the dates clashed with another huge music festival, as well as local events. Although the audience was small, every band gave their best.

Day 1   started off with The Touch, An originals band from Northampton. Rock/Pop & punk

Band 2 – Austin Gold 5 piece blues outfit.

Band 3 – Rob Matherson, Solo Acoustic and stomp box performing in the marquee on stage 3.

Band 4 – Skatoons – a big group, with a large following in Northampton

Band 5 – Ed Sheeran tribute. Also did some original songs.

Band 6 – Flash, a Queen tribute band. An excellent Freddie with a great voice, the band were tight and rocked their way through the classic hits. Surprised to hear they had only been together in their latest line up only three months had the small crowd singing along all night.

When we arrived for day 2, we found that one of the stages had been damaged in the strong winds overnight and it was unsafe to use. This made turning round the bands more difficult, but the stage crew and techs rose to the challenge and the day went very smoothly.

The day started off with a warm-up act Rockin’  Dave – a  Northampton lad, David Peacock. What can I say about Dave: if you ever get a chance to see him a quiet gig  you will never get. I describe him  as a rock and roll metal head lunatic – he loves entertaining and he is loud! He  also appeared in the Marquee tent later in the afternoon and you could hear him from stage 1, which was a bit of a distance lovely guy who currently has two albums out..

Band 1 – Acoustica with Tammy Levy on vocals.Singer songwriter from Northampton

Band 2 – Rusty G’s – rocking originals.

Band 3 – T100’s – rockabilly. They struggled with the wind so were unable to use their double bass.

Band 4 – Upsiders. A group of university students from Coventry – we knew they were going to be fun when they sound checked to the Bonzo’s “Urban Spaceman”. Will definitely go and see them again.


Band 5 – Padding Needed. Another fun band performing original songs. They come on with sparklers and go out with pillow fight. They throw pillows into the crowd for a fun interaction.

Band 6 – Kilamojo. Interesting keyboards. A 3 piece playing psychedelic sounds and original songs.

Band 7 – Smiths United UK. An excellent Morrissey, really looked the part and like the gladioli in front of the drum kit.

Band 8 – Kingz of Leon. Very good tribute act from Portsmouth

The final act of day 2 was Foo 5ighters. This is the band a lot of people had come to see  an energetic tribute from Derby, complete with Dave Grohl lookalike. They came on and said that although the audience might be small, they were going to play as though there was 25,000 people in the crowd – and they did. All the hits and despite the rain coming down during their set they entertained brilliantly. And when the crowd had finished singing along with “Best of You” the front man said although the quantity was small the quality of the crowd was excellent.

Sunday final day- This was to be a short one as the curfew was to be 7.30.

Started off with The Shamed, a Milton Keynes Garage rock band.


Band 2 – The  Liquid Engineers. Excellent tribute with the look, sound and Music of Gary Numan. Fronted by Pat Martin who covered material from the beginning of Tubeway Army right up to his current sound. Pat does an excellent job of looking and sounding like the man himself.

Band 3 – Alive and Kicking UK, a Midlands based Simple Minds tribute, who look and sound close to the real band .

Band 4 – Dusted. UK’s only Busted tribute band from London.

The final  act of the festival were Wrong Jovi, a London based Bon Jovi band fronted by X Factors Ally Ward described on channel 4 by Justin Lee Collins as the Best Bon Jovi tribute act in the world, and they didn’t let the crowd down, delivering all the favourites looking and sounding like the original band in voice, appearance and  delivery.

Final words on the festival: This was a thoroughly entertaining 3 days ,and a big shout out to all the crew, riggers, soundmen, and organisers; not forgetting all the bands for putting on a great festival despite numerous problems with high winds and weather they coped admirably.

Let’s hope next year will bring more crowds in.


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